"I think Innuendo was one of those things which could either be big -
or nothing. We had the same feelings about Bohemian Rhapsody. It's a
risk, because a lot of people say "It's too long, it's too involved,
and we don't want to play it on the radio." I think that could be a
problem in which case it will die. Or it could happen that people say
"This is interesting and new and different", and we'll take a chance."
"Innuendo is the title track, and that was one of the first things that
came. It's got the bolero-type rhythm, a very strange track. That's
going to be the first single here. It's a bit of a risk, but it's
different, and you either win it all or you lose it all. It had a nice
sound and feel, and we stuck with that."
"The Spanish motif is suggested from the start; those little rifts at
the beginning are sort of Bolero-esque. It seemed like the natural
thing to explore those ideas on an acoustic guitar, and it just
gradually evolved. Steve Howe helped out and did a fantastic job. We
love all that stuff - it's like a little fantasyland adventure."
"Innuendo started off as most things do, with us just messing around
and finding a groove that sounded nice. All of us worked on the
arrangement. Freddie started off the theme of the words as he was
singing along, then Roger worked on the rest of them. I worked on some
of the arrangement, particularly the middle bit, then there was an
extra part that Freddie did for the middle as well. It basically came
together like a jigsaw puzzle."
"Big, long and pretentious! It goes through a lot of changes."
"It was a group collaboration, but I wrote the lyrics. I think the
lyrics were mine, and the rest of it was the band. It was a group
[on Steve Howe's guest appearance] "Purely by fortuitous accident. He
(Steve) just happened to be around in Switzerland, when we were working
and he just dropped in. We were working on this little Spanish guitar
piece in the middle. He's very good at that sort of stuff, so instantly
it seemed like a good idea to get him in to play all the stuff that I
can't play. He taught me how to play his chromatic runs, so I owe him a
Steve Howe (1997):
"They played me Innuendo and I go, yeah, heavy metal flamingo! And then
Brian says, 'Look, I'd like you play on this,' and I said you're
joking, it sounds great, leave it like it is, and he said, 'No no no, I
want you to play on it, I want to you to play really fast, I want you
to run around the guitar a lot.' So within a couple of hours I tested
some of his Gibsons, Chet Atkins classical solid body guitars, and
found one that I helped balance the strings because he wasn't sure how
to balance the volume between the different strings which is the
important thing to do on those guitars. So I got up and running, we did
a few takes, we edited it a little bit, we fixed up a few things, then
we went and had dinner. So we went back to the studio and they said we
really really like this and I said fine, let's go with it. So I left
very happy. I'd worked with people who were diehard Queen people, and a
funny thing happened a little while later, I was on a ferry going to
Holland and on this ferry which takes a long time, five hours, were the
Queen fan club, all going to Rotterdam to a Queen event, and a couple
of them saw me and they came racing over and they said, 'You're Steve
Howe! You're on Innuendo!' And they all came out of the room, sitting
around talking and things...and my memories of Queen will always be
emotional because they were a great band and it was just great, it
really was a thrill to be part of that, and thanks for asking me."
Robert Plant (2002):
"Freddie had told me that they wrote the lyrics as a tribute to Led
David Richards (1995):
"Innuendo was an improvisation type song where they actually recorded
it here in the big concert hall, it's just next door, and we set up
like a live performance, and they just started playing basically, and
sort of got into a nice rhythm and a groove, and some chords and then
Freddie said, "Oh, I like that" and rushed downstairs into the concert
hall and started singing along with it, and obviously then, once that
initial idea was down on tape, then there was a lot of rearranging and
putting extra things on, but the actual beginning of it was like a live
thing. It just happened. It was wonderful."
David Richards (2001):
"It's a session song at Casino Hall except a middle part of keyboards,
orchestra and Steve's guitar play. Steve used Brian's Gibson
semi-electric acoustic guitar."
David Richards (2002):
"I remember playing a sampled bass for the song Scandal for the
purposes of sound reinforcement, and the orchestra parts in Innuendo as
well as the conga percussion in These were the days of our lives. I
would give many arrangement ideas also, the more memorable being the
key change verse and chorus in The Show Must Go On, and transposing
each consecutive melody line and chord in the chorus of This Could Be
Heaven creating a rising up effect rather than the more linear idea
from Roger's demo."
David Richards (2002):
"Freddie played the keyboards on The Miracle, Was It All Worth It and
Innuendo (Korg M1). He played a strong role in the writing of these
songs. Steve just happened to drop in one day to say hello to me. He
had been recording at Mountain some ten years before with the group
'Yes'. As soon as he popped his head round the door Freddie recognized
him and said 'come on in and play some guitar'! He had no guitar with
him so he used Brian's (Dan Armstrong?) acc guitar with a direct output
and tone control. Brian played the Rhythm guitar and then echoed the
solo afterwards on the Red Special."
"The flamenco guitar segment in the middle of the song
Innuendo is wild."